Google is getting into the news game in a completely different way. Google is trying to deliver news to you based on what you like. How, you ask? Well, like all things Google, they will use your search history to provide you with news that you want to read. Google is re-branding their “Google Now” app, in what they are calling Google “feed”. Like I said, they are basing what news you will want to see on what kinds of things you’ve searched for. They will also include the top headlines of the day, and local news, which is great because it’s nice to know that these things are going on. Some are comparing this to Facebook’s news feature, and while I can see the comparison, I’m not sure I’d make it myself.
Google has been in the news business for a long time now. And while, they haven’t been in the news customization business, I don’t think that this is a knock off of Facebook. Why? Because you don’t have to like anything. You don’t have to necessarily show Google what you want to see. Yes, you’re doing it indirectly when you’re searching for something. But they do it now with advertisements. So how is this any different than that? Also, isn’t it nice to be able to get all the news you actually want to read in one place? Think about the news sites that you follow. You have to scroll through everything in order to find out if there’s anything you want to read. … Read the rest
Gmail Will No Longer Scan Your Emails to Target Advertisements
Google is going to stop scanning your email in order to direct advertisements at you. Which sounds like a good thing, but they’re only doing it in email. Which is kind of concerning, don’t you think? For example, are my emails from my boyfriend being scanned? And then what is Google doing with that information? What if the information is salacious? I’m not saying that my emails are, but it does raise a big question about privacy. That being said, Google is still going to track your search history and target you that way. But they have decided to stop doing it if you have a Gmail account.
The major concern I have with this is that they shouldn’t have been doing it at all. I don’t really care about the fact that they track my search history and use it to target ads at me. That’s fine. I don’t have an expectation of privacy when I’m using the search engine. I shouldn’t say that. My expectation of privacy is low. On the other hand, I do feel that there is an expectation of privacy within email. Maybe I’m being naive, but what else can we expect? I’m also curious to know what kind of information they are grabbing onto and then using? Outside of my Amazon purchases, I haven’t seen much in terms of advertisements.
I’m still not sure that I’ve ever seen this in practice. I might also be oblivious. … Read the rest
Google Just Made it Easier to Search for Art Using Google Maps
Fun fact: Google has enhanced its online arts and culture website, which allows you to explore museum collections from around the world. Well, I think it’s a fun fact. Why? I mentioned this in my article about Google Earth about a month ago. But Google is bringing the world to you. Rather than having to physically travel yourself, you can experience some amazing things from your own home. As someone who isn’t well versed in the world of art, this is a pretty appealing website for me. The enhancement is the fact that you can use the site in concert with Google Maps.
Part of the reason for my ignorance could be that I don’t know where to start. I’m not saying I don’t know anything. Nor am I saying that I don’t find it interesting. But like trying to understand wine, I find art as equally confusing. That being said, Google has provided the tools for viewers like me to be able to understand the art world in a more manageable way. Yes, I could go to a specific museum website and see what collections they have to view, but again, it doesn’t help me explore what I think might be interesting. Google does that, or at least it does for me. For example – today’s daily digest points to the fact that today, June 1 would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 91st birthday. When you click on that link, it takes you to another page that gives you some background on her life.… Read the rest
Google Teams Up With Wonder Women to Encourage Girls to be Coders
Google is hoping that Wonder Woman will help more girls learn to code. How you ask? From their Made with Code program, Google has launched an initiative that will hopefully inspire more girls learn to code. The initiative allows anyone to choose one of three scenes from Wonder Woman and code that particular scene. The initiative is geared towards girls, however, it should be noted that anyone can participate. Or at least I hope it does. It is geared towards girls. Why? Because women are hugely under represented in the tech world. Again, I ask myself why? Women have had to prove themselves time and again, for many years, and in the tech industry its no different.
Will this actually spark an interest for girls in coding? Or in technology in general? I think that it’s hard to make a determination on that. Wonder Woman is pretty cool, but will it be enough? I’d like to explore this article applying some stereotypes, but that doesn’t mean that I agree with them. Or think they’re relevant. They are, however, key, in my opinion to why Google has launched this initiative. So what are these stereotypes that I speak of? Women are traditionally pushed towards professions where they are helping people. For example, nurses, personal support workers and teachers.
So if we continue with this train of thought, how can we apply this to programming or technology? Let’s say that women are better in the role of “helping”. … Read the rest
Google Wants to Put Artificial Intelligence in Everything – Can They?
Artificial Intelligence has been around for quite some time now. Many industries have been using it in one form or another And most of us don’t even really know that we’re using AI. Google, however, is bringing it to the forefront. And, it kind of is, already. But they’re really going to start bringing it. During the Google I/O Conference this week, Google made several announcements outlining where it’s going to be. And it’s going to be everywhere. It was all over the keynote. With the intention that Google is going to be “AI first”. I wrote a couple of posts this week about some of their more interesting initiatives, but they’re right. AI is involved with all of it.
So what does this mean? Well, I think it means that it’s going to be easier for us to do things. Maybe that’s simplified, but when you get down to it, what else is AI doing? For example, cities use AI to identify infrastructure issues. A vehicle can be equipped with a camera that will automatically detect a pothole for example. This makes people’s lives a bit easier. And I would also add, more efficient. If we take that line of thinking and apply it to what Google is doing, the reach of AI could be endless. Google has it’s fingers in a lot of different pots.
But, the pothole identifying version of AI isn’t what people want. Or at least not most consumers. … Read the rest
Google Makes Improvements to Photos – Should Apple be Worried?
Move over iOS Photos, there’s a new kid in town. Well, maybe not new, but certainly much improved. Google announced yesterday that they have over half a billion users uploading photos every day. Every single day. Which means it’s time for an improved version of the app. Part of that update is Google Lens, which I talked about in yesterday’s post. But that’s not going to be ready for a little while. So sit tight, but in the mean time, here are some cool new enhancements to Google Photos.
If your photo is if your good friend Thomas, Google Photos will suggest that you share the photo with him. And even anyone else that might know him or want to see the photo. This is really neat as it’s using machine learning to identify Thomas, and then determine what to do with that photo. Google has been making strides in the AI arena in order to identify objects – such as mountains. But this is taking it to the next level.
Now you can share an entire library with a group of people. I might suggest this to my sister in law for photos of my nephew. She often sends a ton via email, which is nice to get, but this would be easier. I would like to point out that this can be done through iCloud sharing now. The one difference is, with Google Shared Libraries, the photo stays in your camera roll as well.… Read the rest
Here’s What Was Announced at the Google I/O Conference Today
There were a lot of announcements at the Google I/O Conference today. Almost too many to put in just one post. But I will highlight some of the more interesting ones to start. Or at least more interesting in my opinion. First of all, it is estimated that there are 2 billion android devices being used world wide. Two billion! That is almost 1/3 of the world’s population. Which is insane. It is almost 3 times that of the number of iPhone users, which is only at 700 million. That in itself is incredible. Which means there is a huge market to be tapped. So bring it on Google.
Let’s start with Google Home. So far, it’s just been able to give you answers to questions that you ask. I’m not trying to downplay this at all. That in itself is incredible. Not just from the perspective of Google Home, but in general. What’s really interesting about the next version is that the device is going to be more proactive. Meaning, if there is a traffic jam on your regularly route to work, it will let you know. Presumably, this would work for public transit delays and maybe some weather related events. All and all, this is pretty amazing. I wonder what else it could do? Maybe predict my mood swings? Just kidding. I am interested to see what kinds of things this ends up being able to predict.